Bridge Crossing and a Map?

Bridge Crossing and a Map?

I woke up to another rainy Saturday morning. The thrill of riding in the pouring rain has lost it’s appeal over the years. plus I don’t feel like spending 8 hours washing my bike (it’s new and it’s only been in 1 crash so far).

Because of my homeless situation i have no weather channel, nor do I have internet. So it’s off to work to review the blue prints for the shop expansion. Just for the hell of it I check and it looks like the rain is done and it’s heading East. It’s now about 8:20 and I gotta get butt in gear for the 9AM ride. I make 1 call to Mark to let him know that I am going to Noho to ride. He decides that he is in and tell’s me to wait for him there.

I pull into the lot across from the Brewery and nobody’s there. I wonder if the weather has scared everyone away? My Nephew Justin Lynch arrives, then Brian Donoghue shows.

So it looks like it will be the 4 of us. We head out on Rt. 9 towards our typical Saturday loop. Today will be different, I have brought a map! Yes, I can read maps even if the aren’t self guided via GPS. Okay, I don’t read maps!

Now we are on Rt. 47 in Hadley and I yell “ take a right after the school” (see, i can read a map). We head right and cruise down this beautiful stretch of road that slightly climbs towards UMASS. then we hit a intersection and things just don’t look correct. We were supposed to go straight thru this intersection! But that will send us East, and we want to go North. So I whip the map out. Looks like i took the wrong street, we were supposed to take the street before the school. so now we have to take a left and we are back on track. This road is great and there isn’t any traffic on it. This is when Mark chimes in and say’s “Do you know the bridge is out up ahead”. No, it looks fine on my MAP.

We get to the construction site and the bridge is gone! Except for one I-beam. I told them we could back track and go around. Mark say’s “Let’s just cross it”. Crossing it is one thing, crossing it with a bike in your hand while wearing cycling shoe’s and did I mention that the wind is howling. We all make it and Justin later finds out that his highest heart rate of the day was the bridge crossing section.

Back on the road. Now we are all in a groove and each is taken their turn up front. Im making Brian take double length pulls (he’s doing Ironman and we are not). It’s good training! We get to Greenfield and again i have some new roads in store for us. Opps, I think we just missed our turn. Quick U-turn and we head up this hill. Brian ask’s how long the hill is and I reply “looked flat on the MAP”. It was a good climb that brought us up and over Rt. 91 to this awesome stretch of road that climbed slightly for a few miles, then it had this screaming downhill with some cool corners. we get to an intersection and out comes the MAP. Left here, then a right and we will be on the road to Sugarloaf Mtn. Now, life is good! we have a tailwind, and I know where we are.

We get back on River Road and hammer our way home. As we approach Haley I take my first glance at the average speed for this very windy and slightly hilly ride. We have somehow managed to still get in a 19.5 mph average speed. It was a hard ride but it wasn’t a hammerfest. And to think that it was going to be another day off because of rain. Oh ya, I forgot to mention that I am going to sneak out and do my first Triathlon (this year) tomorrow (Worcester Tri). I want a low key race that I don’t have to go 100 percent at.